Date: August 6, 2015
Location: KEYS Grace Academy, Madison Heights, MI
Description: In the wake of an ethnic genocide in Iraq, Nathan Kalasho of West Bloomfield has done something groundbreaking. After years of work, he and his family have successfully opened the first charter school in the nation, KEYS GRACE ACADEMY, committed to preserving the Chaldean/Assyrian/Syriac culture, history and language. The grand opening ceremony was held on Thursday, August 6, 2015 in Madison Heights.
“Chaldean people are on the verge of extinction in the Middle East and it is essential we preserve our heritage through education,” said Nathan Kalasho, the founder and president of the school. More than seventy percent of the students are expected to be of Chaldean/Assyrian origin and will graduate KEYS GRACE ACADEMY proficient in English, Aramaic and Spanish or French. Classes begin on September 8 with an anticipated enrollment of 500 students in grades Pre K-12. The school will offer free transportation in the tri-county area, breakfast and lunch, uniforms, shoes and a laptop or tablet for every student. In the words of Asaad Kalasho, “this is a public school, with a private school feel.”
Steward Media was proud to be a part of the historic event which was well attended by community leaders, businessmen and women, esteemed guests and over a 150 friends and family. Displayed throughout the building were replicas of ancient Babylonian and Assyrian art created by artist Sabah Selou Wazi. A formal program and ribbon cutting was held with State Senator Bert Johnson, Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner, as well as Bishop Emeritus Kassab of Australia, Madison Heights Superintendent, Randy Speck, and founders of KEYS GRACE ACADEMY, Asaad and Nathan Kalasho.
KEYS GRACE ACADEMY is thankful and grateful to those who offered free and discounted services for the success of the event. They include: Steward Media, Mort Meisner Associates, Wilson Sarkis of Wilson Sarkis Photography, Amani Hakim of Amani Flowers, Ray Lousia of Tap Snap, Salah and Heba Denha of Modern Art Linen, Ike’s Restaurant, Ghassan Sewa of Baghdad Tower, Alwalaeem, and Bahaa Kalasho.
The historic opening was featured in The Detroit Free Press, the Oakland Press, the Detroit News, WDIV Channel 4 News, C and G News, WJR, MEA TV and Radio, Ishtar TV, the Chaldean News, WWJ, WDET Radio and Michigan Radio. KEYS GRACE ACADEMY will host an Open House from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on August 21. Pictures of the event can be found below.